Friday, February 10, 2006

Waste and incompetence in the MOD

Buried deep in a report which itself was tucked away in the House of Commons library was a report on sums of money which the MOD have had to write off in the past year.

The total amount came to an eye watering £320 millions pounds – ie nearly a third of a billion.

This is money which could have been used to improve the pay of infantry soldiers or ensure that they are given the correct kit when being sent off to dangerous places like Iraq or Afghanistan.

Below I have listed just a few of the write offs and the reasons given.

• Two Warrior vehicles involved in a collision during a training exercise – cost £500,000

• Fire on an AS90 (self-propelled artillery gun) – cost £1,942,000

• Communication equipment on a remote site was stolen in 2001-2002 – cost £382,000

• Incomplete documentation on ammunitions movements in Afghanistan – cost £241,000

• Change in supplier for BOWMAN battlefield communications system – cost £51,000,000 written off.

• Withdrawal from Multi Role Armoured Vehicle Programme – total cost £56,910,000 written off.

• Cancellation of a “classified project” as a “saving measure” – cost £1,791,000

• Defective GPS chips in guided missiles – cost £1,763,000

• Food having to be scrapped due to cancellation of Marines’ deployment to Norway – cost £144,000

• Re-negotiation of NIMROD contract – cost 74,880,000 constructive loss

• Cancellation of training project for High G Force Centrifuge – cost £14,383,000

• Cancellation of Harrier Bombing System – loss of £12,896,000

• Scrapping of 45 “faulty” Lynx Metal Rotor Blades, which were found not to have been faulty after all. – cost £153,000

• Chinook Helicopters written down because they do not meet operational requirements – cost £205,000,000

• “Impairment” of an official building - £65,000,000

• Creating a new roof for RNAS Yeovilton because the one that had just been built impaired the pilots view of the runway! - £584,000

We pay our Defence Ministers and their civil servants very good salaries, give them a budget of £30 billion and charge them with responsibility for the nations defences. With this sorry record of incompetence I would not put them in charge of a fairground shooting gallery.

5 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

The list is as it is but I don't see any background (of course I wouldn't here in NZ ... but would I back in Wales?!?). Can you give more than just the headline items, for instance, you mention

Two Warrior vehicles involved in a collision during a training exercise – cost £500,000
- is this too much, too little, too many times, normal, average, strange for this time of year ...

4:59 AM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

i cant give you any more information because that is the only imformation the MOD have supplied.

10:13 AM  
Blogger prochillers said...

politics.

If labour were serious on devolution then this contradicts on a great britain. Why french aicraft carriers and US war planes. Why the waste on the MOd projects over running on times and costs. It used to be; years ago on a cost plus profit: it appears that this has gone to an even worse new dimension with this government.

The pound has weakened against the euro since labour came to power, yet there are 10 poorer nations joined the euro. the french, german economies are weak and the Italian economy is near to a recession, Things do not tie up

7:17 AM  
Blogger edradour said...

Hi My first post.

I went through the list and thought "I know of far more wasteful examples, with the exception of the Chinook £205M". Then I remembered one, which is ongoing, which swamps Chinook.

I know you are very busy, but surely your researchers could ask a few obvious questions instead of just relying on what the MoD say? The example I'm thinking of is, albeit obliquely, referred to in a Defence Select Committee report (which I thought you were a member of?). A little technical knowledge, dig a little deeper, study what is released or briefed elsewhere and you hit gold dust.

Frankly, this is quickly forgotten, and only used for political gain, unless followed up by the Select Committee. If you are serious about DOING SOMETHING about this endemic waste, have no mercy with those who DELIBERATELY waste our defence budget.

As they say, information available upon request.....

But then, I submitted evidence to the Committee (or it's secretariat) in time for last Autumn's sitting, but heard nothing. Perhaps it's all bluster and you don't want to know the truth, as it's "political dynamite".

Sorry to sound aggressive, but this is serious stuff. Daily, men are dying because of this incompetence.

12:27 AM  
Blogger edradour said...

No reply then. That could mean one of two things.

1. Your original post about waste was opportunistic. Just jumping on a handy bandwagon to have a go at the Government without really caring about the waste.

2. Someone's had a word in your ear. Let it go, there's a good fellow. Rather embarrassing - that chap Edradour has got it absolutely right. To compound things, some fool in MoD has persuaded Jobs....sorry, Ainsworth to sign a letter confirming that refusing to deliberately waste money is actually a disciplinary offence for MoD civil servants. Billions old boy, billions. You only see the tip of the iceberg.

2:33 PM  

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